News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

October 8, 2012

Recovery gives women chance for big next steps

Staying sober, fighting addictions

TERRE HAUTE — A foundation that stepped out on faith to give women with addiction problems a new beginning is now seeing the fruits of its labor.

Three women have graduated from the Next Step program, and they eagerly shared their story recently in the hope that others find recovery in a clean and sober environment where they can transition back into society.

Stacey Edwards and Aja Haynes both graduated from Vigo County Drug Court last week, while in September, Kay Rickard became the first graduate. Even though they are finishing their time at Next Step, they all hope to stay involved and be encouraging to the current and future participants in the program.

“The ultimate goal is to be involved here as much as I can,” Stacey said. “I hope to do mentoring to show them the program works.”

Next Step began accepting residents last spring. It is Terre Haute’s only women-only home for women overcoming addiction issues.

Located at 619 Washington Ave. in a former Presbyterian church, the program is overseen by the Next Step Foundation, a group of area residents who purchased the church property and received donations of furniture, services and funding from individuals, groups, churches and businesses.

Both Stacey and Aja agree that the participants who don’t make it through the program — who relapse into drug and alcohol abuse — aren’t ready to change.

“They don’t have an open mind, and they’re not willing to work at it,” Stacey said.

She speaks from experience. Now age 25, her struggles with alcohol abuse began years ago.

“I received my first DUI before I turned 22. And my second before I turned 23,” Stacey said. “And so I was ordered to Drug Court. I relapsed twice. So between me and my father and the court, we agreed to try something new.”

She already had taken drug and alcohol courses, and was participating in 12-step programs. But she found success in her assignment to Next Step, where the structured environment took her away from her old habits and friends into a new setting.

“Ultimately, the real problem was not my drinking. It was my thinking that was the real issue,” she said. “I had to switch up and become responsible.”

She moved into a dorm room at Next Step with six other females — and she is quick to note that being housed with other women trying to overcome substance abuse issues of their own is not the easiest environment in which to live.

But, Stacey said she found her own voice during her time with Next Step, so that she wouldn’t get stepped on.

“I had to learn to speak up for myself,” she said. Through a life-skills class, she learned how to set boundaries that both she and others can deal with in a positive way.

“When I do get feelings of hurt and being angry, I know what to do now,” Stacey said. “I won’t let it build up.”

As Stacey spoke about her Next Step experience in the resident lounge of the recovery house, she was joined by Aja, who was fresh from an appearance in Drug Court. Aja was pleased to announce that she had been sentenced to 915 days of informal probation and credit for time already served in jail.

But she is most pleased about the relationship she is rebuilding with her 3-year-old son, who has been in foster care since Aja was criminally charged with methamphetamine-related offenses.

She recently saw him during play therapy, and he was happy she was able to play with him.

“He got really clingy,” she said of the toddler, smiling at the memory.

And while she wants to be reunited with him soon, she said is not going to rush the process.

“I can’t wait to get him back, but I want to be prepared,” she said of her life after Next Step.

Her two older children — a 9-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl — live with their father in Indianapolis. She is also rebuilding a relationship with them as a sober mother.

Aja said she has been in and out of jail and the court system since 2005. She tried intense outpatient treatment as well as the county drug and alcohol program, but her real change has come at Next Step.

“I had no clue how to stand up for myself,” the 26-year-old mother of three said.

She now has a job that she loves, and she has been offered a supervisor position. But before she jumps at that possibility, she is patiently considering how it will work with her scheduled time for support meetings, her children and her sober life.

“Something I’ve never had before is patience,” Aja said, “and that’s something this program has offered me.”

The program’s first graduate, fondly known as Mama Kay by the younger residents, recently moved out of Next Step to be with her family during her daughter’s recovery from a medical issue. Kay was a night manager for a while, and she earned the respect of the other residents.

“She’s blunt and she’ll tell you how she sees things,” Aja said.

Kay is a great-grandmother and entered the program after a stay in jail due to a meth addiction.  Her children and family had stopped speaking to her and she was drifting from dope house to dope house. But during her six-month stay at Next Step, she transformed her life and restored her family relationships

The changes in Kay, Stacey and Aja have been dramatic, said Next Step executive director Dana Simon, and she credits that to the life recovery skills that the women learn, as well as to their determination to make changes.

Sadly, some women assigned to Next Step have failed the program on their first attempt and have found themselves back in the court system. And some of those women have returned as “double steppers” who are more serious about their sobriety.

Dana said that both she and the Next Step board had to go through some growth to learn what kind of sober living facility they wanted to be.

But they had help from others working in the recover community — most notably the men of the Club Soda and Turning Point sober living houses.

In fact, Turning Point resident Mike walked his wife Kimberly Edmondson to the door of Next Step about three months ago and encouraged her to get into the program so the couple and their children could get their lives back together as a family.

On a recent weekend, Kimberly and Mike had a 24-hour visit with their five children in the family room at Next Step.

“We got to put them to bed, give them showers and make them breakfast,” Kimberly said. “I got to put them to sleep for the first time in five months. We said our prayers. It was 24 hours just like a real family.”

Kimberly and Mike have worked with the Department of Child Services to rebuild their relationships with their children — and with each other.

On a recent weekend, Kimberly and Mike went canoeing with other couples, and they had a leisurely cookout that didn’t end with people getting drunk and fighting.

The recovery community has been receptive to Next Step, Dana said, with many groups stepping up to do repair and improvement projects to the former church and its education wing, which is now the women’s living center.

“Because in the recovery community a lot of people want to give back, we get a lot of projects done,” Simon said.

But even though work projects are now completed on the Next Step property, another step is ready to be taken in the community, and that is transitional housing such as duplexes, Simon said.

Aja agreed that while she feels ready to move out on her own, she would prefer to have transitional housing near and associated to Next Step to keep her recovery foundation strong.

“It’s about love and limits. Having external boundaries as well as internal boundaries,” Aja said. “It’s not magic. There’s a program to follow.”

If people do not make it through recovery, it is because they have rushed and process and are not ready, she said.

“They’re not patient. You don’t give it time to feel it in here,” she said, rubbing her chest over her heart. “It doesn’t happen overnight. It will be a lifelong process for me.”

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at -812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks

    After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man faces 9 charges in homicide case

    A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.

    July 25, 2014 1 Story

  • maroon truck.jpg UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision

    A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • red truck.jpg Head-on crash leaves Rockville man seriously injured

    A Rockville man was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital with serious injuries this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 25, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Measles case confirmed in Central Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in Central Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to identify additional cases of measles, and to prevent further transmission of the disease.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

    CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

  • 4 doctors arrested after Indiana clinic raids

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four doctors have been arrested on charges of improperly prescribing a drug used to treat painkiller addiction from several Indiana offices.

    July 25, 2014

  • holiday world thunderbird.jpg Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster

    SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new $22 million roller coaster that it says will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop and four inversions.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis pulls future support for Amtrak line

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — City officials in Indianapolis have cast the future of an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago into doubt after deciding not to provide any additional money to subsidize that line.

    July 25, 2014

  • Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

    CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state’s right-to-work law.

    July 25, 2014

  • MET 072414 HOESS 01KOR.jpg Voices from Auschwitz: Ties that bind

    A message that has spread like wildfire across Europe can easily translate to America.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Minimum wage frozen after 5 years

    Thursday marked the fifth anniversary since the federal minimum wage was increased, a wage U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez contends should again be raised.

    July 24, 2014

  • MET072414 CANDLES shake.jpg ISU, CANDLES join to ‘illuminate the world’

    Indiana State University and CANDLES Holocaust Museum are joining forces to educate current and future generations about the Holocaust, genocide and related issues.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET072414 JA hadley.jpg 50 years later, still business as usual

    Junior Achievement of the Wabash Valley marked its 50th anniversary hosting a luau Thursday at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two semis collide; one driver injured

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital Thursday after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Valley talent returns for show tonight

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo is scheduled to be back at The Verve tonight to perform the last installment of its 2014 series.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police find 2 meth labs in 1 house

    The Clay County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday arrested a Staunton man and a Terre Haute woman on felony charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police say man broke into prison building

    A man living at a Carlisle motel has been arrested for trespassing and criminal mischief after he allegedly kicked in a prison building door.

    July 24, 2014

  • Driver airlifted to Methodist after I-70 crash

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital today after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lunes Domingo, Bear Foote Jackson at The Verve July 25

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo will be back at The Verve on Friday, July 25, to perform the last installment of their 2014 series. Cost is $3.

    July 24, 2014

  • West T Water Works issues boil order

    The West Terre Haute Water Works announced this morning that a boil order is in effect until further notice for the community of West Terre Haute and Sugar Creek Township.

    July 24, 2014

  • Grease fire closes Terre Haute restaurant for short time

    A grease fire closed the Golden Corral for about three hours on Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 24, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bloomington helping with beer brewery’s project

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The city of Bloomington is helping a beer brewery with an expansion of its downtown restaurant and bar.

    July 24, 2014

  • Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

    PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren’t achieved without taking chances.

    July 24, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity